Page last updated at 03:16 GMT, Saturday, 27 September 2008 04:16 UK

Rapper Rhymes allowed to perform

Busta Rhymes
Rhymes is known for hits including Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See

US rap star Busta Rhymes has performed at a charity gig after winning a High Court battle against his deportation.

He was refused entry into the UK on Thursday morning because of "unresolved convictions" in the US.

The 36-year-old performer was held for 12 hours under armed guard at London City Airport before a judge intervened and allowed him into the UK.

He went on to play the Orange RockCorps gig for 5,000 volunteers at London's Royal Albert Hall.

A spokesman for Orange RockCorps described his performance as "absolutely incredible after everything Busta had been through".

Mr Justice Stadlen earlier ruled Rhymes, whose real name is Trevor Smith Jnr, was entitled to seek a judicial review.

This was because it could be argued the decision to refuse him UK entry was unreasonable, and may have been based on a misapprehension he was involved in gang violence, he said.

'Extraordinary case'

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Busta Rhymes volunteered at a south London school ahead of the show

Despite opposition from the Home Office lawyers, the judge also decided to continue the injunction granted by a High Court judge on Thursday preventing Rhymes' removal pending the full hearing.

Mr Justice Stadlen emphasised the extraordinary nature of the case, and said he was acting so as not to disappoint the thousands of fans who, even as he was giving his judgement, were heading to the Royal Albert Hall.

"What weighs in the balance is not just what effect that would have on Mr Smith [Rhymes], to which I pay considerably less regard than the effect on the 4,000 volunteers who would be disappointed if he didn't perform this evening," he said.

John Legend
Soul singer John Legend was also on the gig's bill

Rhymes, who has already been allowed entry to the UK twice this year, had a valid work permit for the concert.

The rapper told the BBC's 1 XTRA he was greeted by police and immigration officers after flying into the UK.

"Lady took my passport, she said you have been red flagged, so I said for what? And she said didn't anybody notify you and tell you that you was going to have a possible problem getting into the country?" Rhymes said.

"So I said no. So she said well have a seat, I need to go into the back room and investigate what this red flag is about."

He has enjoyed eight UK top 10 singles over the past 12 years, including the recent hit We Made It with Linkin Park in June.

RockCorps concert lets music fans earn their tickets by spending four hours volunteering in community projects.

The shows have been running for four years in the US, but this was the first such event in the UK.

Soul singer John Legend, rappers Ludacris and Lethal Bizzle and rock bands The Automatic, Feeder and Guillemots were also on the bill.


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